ALMR announces winners of 1st Late Night Awards
Leading trade body the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers yesterday announced the winners of its Late Night Awards at a spectacular sell-out event, Dusk 'til Dawn at London's Café de Paris. These were the first ALMR Late Night Awards, building on 13 previous BEDA Awards after the ALMR incorporated that organisation in 2012.
At Dusk 'til Dawn 300 attendees representing every part of the late-night market gathered to celebrate the diversity and vibrancy of the late night economy and these qualities marked out the winners. The Culinary Award went to Hawksmoor, the London-based steakhouse chain; the Bacchus Award was won by The Alchemist, Living Ventures' site in Leeds; the Arrivals & Departures Award was collected by Be At One's Clapham Common site; the Skills & Smiles Award went to Beds and Bars; the Entertainment Award was won by Cameo, The Luminar Group's Bournemouth venue; and the Full House Award went to Novus Leisure for their Late Night London booking system.
Commenting on the Awards, ALMR Strategic Affairs Director Kate Nicholls said:
"The ALMR Late Night Awards celebrate the best of the late night economy, recognising innovation, quality and investment in this often-overlooked sector of our trade. We are delighted to be able to continue the work done by BEDA to champion late night retailers and celebrate the diversity and vibrancy of this incredibly important part of the industry.
"The standard of the nominees was incredibly high and this made for some very difficult choices for our expert judging panel but this just reflects the phenomenal standards on offer across the modern late night economy. We are incredibly proud to champion these outstanding retailers. Congratulations to all our winners and we look forward to seeing the dynamism, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that drove their successes expanded upon even further next year."
Culinary Award - Hawksmoor
4 venues in London serving from breakfast right through to post theatre and late night with focus on quality of ingredients - and it is this which sets them apart. Their fresh high quality food is paired with drinks of a similar calibre all lovingly sourced, meticulously researched and spectacularly delivered. Recently rated by Sunday Times as 5th best company to work for and has a maximum 3 star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
Bacchus - The Alchemist, Leeds (Living Ventures)
Owned by Living Ventures Group The Alchemist provided a leap back into bars for the company. The Alchemist gave MD Tim Bacon the opportunity to go back to his roots, creating a truly inspirational and dynamic drinks menu. From handcrafted cocktails right through to "molecular madness", this menu has something for every taste. The Alchemist is open for morning coffee, brunch, lunch and dinner, offering everything Living Ventures are renowned for - excellent service, innovative cocktails and great food.
Arrivals & Departures - Be At One
The company's success in this award is down to its investment in training and its belief in bar tending as a serious job which expands well beyond just the serving of drinks. The company invests £5,000 to train each of its team as part of a 9 week programme and all staff are assigned their own In Store Trainer. This is about delivering a total customer experience. Making sure that guests get a warm welcome - a smile, a handshake and recognition when they walk in - to encouraging staff to stand at the door at the end of the night to listen to customers as they leave and get a glimpse of how they see the business and the experience.
Skills & Smiles - Beds and Bars
Their unique Footsteps Training Programme nurtures and develops staff as they move through the company. The company employs staff of nearly 90 different nationalities and turnover, by the nature of the hostels and the people passing through them, is high-but Managing Director Keith Knowles is delighted by the number who have stayed on - Eddy Passey, for example, started behind the bar and is now Group Operations Director on the Board.
The company has won a plethora of awards - Investors in people Champion 2010, BII NITA Special Award for Innovation, Sunday Times Fast Track 100, Best Pub Employer Publican Awards 2013.
Entertainment - Cameo, Bournemouth (The Luminar Group)
Cameo is Luminar's latest brand and is Bournemouth's brand new £1m nightclub development, providing 4 rooms of clubbing with fabulous décor and state of the art sound and light. Open until 4am every Saturday, when the club hosts a comedy show, a male revue show, a regular live acoustic set in the bar, as well as 3 club rooms featuring contemporary music, retro and urban all delivered by an impressive list of DJs. This wide and varied offer is key to its success.
Full House - Novus Leisure (Late Night London)
Sustained investment in the business over the last year has led to food now accounting for 40% of sales but it is the focus and investment in their pre-booked system - latenightlondon.co.uk - which has given the company the ability to take market share and deliver predictable earnings through a difficult trading period. Prebooked sales now account for more than 55% of total revenue, rising to a staggering 70% over the festive period. The company has over 1 million registered customers and has seen a 20% growth in online enquiries per annum.
The Alchemist is open for morning coffee, brunch, lunch and dinner offering everything Living Ventures are renowned for – excellent service, innovative cocktails and great food.